Skills for Growth – Beyond the Low-Hanging Fruit

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By Pete Carlson (President of Regional Growth Strategies)

A new skill development system is beginning to take shape in regions across the US. It’s defining feature is that it’s demand-driven – that is, it focuses on getting the right workers with the right skills to the right place at the right time. This new system has enormous potential to support job growth and to expand opportunity for a broad swath of the workforce. However, I’ve noticed that this new system is mainly focused on filling existing jobs, rather than supporting the growth of new jobs. Why is that?

One reason is because existing jobs are much easier to find and fill. To begin with, there are more of them. Currently, two out of three job openings are for existing jobs, primarily due to the retirement of baby boomers. Also, it’s a lot easier to forecast openings for existing jobs, since retirements are easier to predict than breakthroughs in products, processes, or markets that are responsible for most new jobs.

See full blog post here: http://regionalgrowth.com/blog/skills-for-growth-beyond-the-low-hanging-fruit/

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